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2010 National District Attorneys Association 20 th Annual National Multidisciplinary Conference on DV presentation on “Working with Immigrant Survivors.

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Presentation on theme: "2010 National District Attorneys Association 20 th Annual National Multidisciplinary Conference on DV presentation on “Working with Immigrant Survivors."— Presentation transcript:

1 2010 National District Attorneys Association 20 th Annual National Multidisciplinary Conference on DV presentation on “Working with Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence Wanda Lucibello Chief, Special Victims Division Office of the District Attorney of Kings County & Gail Pendleton Co-Chair, Asista Immigration Technical Assistance Project Co-Chair, National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

2 Introduction Battering is the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S. and affects women of every race, culture, economic class & sexual orientation. Battering is the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S. and affects women of every race, culture, economic class & sexual orientation. Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of abuse where one partner in a relationship controls another through force, intimidation or threat of violence. Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of abuse where one partner in a relationship controls another through force, intimidation or threat of violence. Immigrant women who are battered share all the problems of non-immigrant women abused by their partners. However, these problems are magnified many times by factors related to immigrant status. Immigrant women who are battered share all the problems of non-immigrant women abused by their partners. However, these problems are magnified many times by factors related to immigrant status.

3 Unique Issues IMMIGRATION STATUS Issues facing documented and undocumented aliens. Fear of deportation. Issues facing documented and undocumented aliens. Fear of deportation. Institutional bias. Institutional bias. CULTURAL CONCERNS Language. Language. Impact of community reaction. Impact of community reaction. Religious beliefs. Ability to divorce. Religious beliefs. Ability to divorce. Availability of family support. Availability of family support. Isolation. Isolation. ‘Culture Shock’. ‘Culture Shock’. Access to resources, knowledge of U.S. system. Access to resources, knowledge of U.S. system. Experience of systems of authority in country of origin. Fear of police and justice system Experience of systems of authority in country of origin. Fear of police and justice system ECONOMIC DEPENDENCY & EMPOWERMENT Access to work authorization. Access to public benefits. Language skills and education level. Requirement to provide income for family in home country. CHILDREN Belief that partner will abduct children to another country. Lack of knowledge of family or civil law proceedings.

4 Working With Refugee, Immigrant & Migrant Battered Women Focus on her strengths, not her weaknesses. Focus on her strengths, not her weaknesses. Develop a thorough understanding of issues involved. Take time to address her concerns. Develop a thorough understanding of issues involved. Take time to address her concerns. Who and where are her support systems. Who and where are her support systems. Provide information on remedies available. Provide information on remedies available. Provide access and referrals to agencies and professionals who can assist with legal and social service needs. Provide access and referrals to agencies and professionals who can assist with legal and social service needs. Work to ensure that the institution/agency is responsive to the special needs of this population. Work to ensure that the institution/agency is responsive to the special needs of this population. Support legislation that addresses the needs of refugee, immigrant and migrant battered women. Support legislation that addresses the needs of refugee, immigrant and migrant battered women.

5 Why Culturally Competent Services? New York City Department of Health study New York City Department of Health study Among Hispanic victims, killings more likely committed by intimates. Among Hispanic victims, killings more likely committed by intimates. Asian women - 7% killed by an intimate vs. 4% by non-intimate. Asian women - 7% killed by an intimate vs. 4% by non-intimate. White victims - skewed the other way - 37% victims of intimate, vs. 63% victims of non-intimates. White victims - skewed the other way - 37% victims of intimate, vs. 63% victims of non-intimates.

6 Brooklyn Family Justice Center Partnerships with on-site no-for-profit organizations serving underserved populations Partnerships with on-site no-for-profit organizations serving underserved populations Tamkeen: Works with Arabic Women Tamkeen: Works with Arabic Women Substantially increased our client visits of Arabic and Muslim women Substantially increased our client visits of Arabic and Muslim women Thirty U Visa applications over three year period Thirty U Visa applications over three year period Asian Women’s Center Asian Women’s Center Each day of the week represents a different language Each day of the week represents a different language

7 Brooklyn Family Justice Center Foreign Born Clients Country of Origin - Most Frequently Indicated: Mexico Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Trinidad & Tobago Jamaica Jamaica Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Russia Russia Haiti Haiti Guyana Guyana China China

8 Brooklyn Family Justice Center Importance of partnering with nonprofit victim advocates which reflect the cultural and linguistic needs of the community: Tamkeen (Arabic), Dwa Fanm (Haitian Creole). NYAWC (Asian), JBFCS (Russian), Met Council (Hebrew) Importance of partnering with nonprofit victim advocates which reflect the cultural and linguistic needs of the community: Tamkeen (Arabic), Dwa Fanm (Haitian Creole). NYAWC (Asian), JBFCS (Russian), Met Council (Hebrew) VSU/KCDA – Project NYET, early outreach program, Project Eden VSU/KCDA – Project NYET, early outreach program, Project Eden

9 Brooklyn Family Justice Center Importance of on-site civil legal immigration services provided by Sanctuary for Families (SFF) at the FJC – U Visas, Self-Petitions, Battered Spouse Waiver Importance of on-site civil legal immigration services provided by Sanctuary for Families (SFF) at the FJC – U Visas, Self-Petitions, Battered Spouse Waiver Importance of multi-lingual staff and Language Line Importance of multi-lingual staff and Language Line FJC Key Documents are now available in 7 key languages [Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian- Creole, Korean, Russian and Spanish), 6 more languages will be added in Spring FJC Key Documents are now available in 7 key languages [Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian- Creole, Korean, Russian and Spanish), 6 more languages will be added in Spring 2010.

10 Successes Homicide Reduction: Homicide Reduction: In 2006, homicides reduced by 30% while adjacent jurisdiction increased by same amount In 2006, homicides reduced by 30% while adjacent jurisdiction increased by same amount

11 Barrier Free Justice – Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Partnership with the only shelter in NYC fully accessible to folks with disabilities. Partnership with the only shelter in NYC fully accessible to folks with disabilities. Partnership with family court lawyers Partnership with family court lawyers Increased numbers of people who access our office through prosecution. Increased numbers of people who access our office through prosecution.

12 Central Brooklyn Task Force Reached over 9,000 people Reached over 9,000 people Partnership with DWA Famn, a Haitian supportive services network. Partnership with DWA Famn, a Haitian supportive services network. Increased substantially the numbers of victims reporting to the police. Increased substantially the numbers of victims reporting to the police.

13 Prosecutorial Results Approximately 17% fewer dismissals of cases when victims spoke with social workers within 24 hours of arrest. Approximately 17% fewer dismissals of cases when victims spoke with social workers within 24 hours of arrest. Approximately 6% fewer dismissals when social workers spoke with victims after 24 hours but before the first court date. Approximately 6% fewer dismissals when social workers spoke with victims after 24 hours but before the first court date. Approximately 75% resulted in corroborating affidavits when social worker intervention took place within 24 hours of arrest. Approximately 75% resulted in corroborating affidavits when social worker intervention took place within 24 hours of arrest. Approximately 15% of these cases were ultimately dismissed. Approximately 15% of these cases were ultimately dismissed.

14 A Few Immigration Concepts Immigrants & Nonimmigrants Immigrating family members “Noncitizens” Who is Undocumented?

15 How Immigration System Works DHS: Department of Homeland Security CIS: Citizenship and Immigration Services Administrative applications for “benefits” ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement Investigation/Enforcement inside US Detention & removal CBP: Customs and Border Protection Enforcement coming into US Airports, border, 100 miles inside border EOIR: Executive Office for Immigration Review

16 What Congress Has Done Access to public benefits Access to legal services Access to services =Limited English Proficiency Civil Rights Requirement If you get federal $$$ must have a plan

17 Congress -- Special Options Special Immigrant Juveniles Conditional Residence Waiver Self-petitioning & Cancellation U & T Visas Self-petitioning for parents of US citizens Work authorization for nonimmigrant spouses

18 U Visa Purpose Strengthen investigation and prosecution Strengthen investigation and prosecution Protect victims of crime Protect victims of crime

19 U Visa Crimes Rape Rape Torture Torture Trafficking Trafficking Incest Incest Domestic violence Domestic violence Sexual assault Sexual assault Abusive sexual contact Abusive sexual contact Prostitution Prostitution Sexual exploitation Sexual exploitation Female genital mutilation Female genital mutilation Being held hostage Being held hostage Peonage Peonage Involuntary servitude Involuntary servitude Slave trade Slave trade Kidnapping KidnappingAbduction Unlawful criminal restraint False imprisonment BlackmailExtortionManslaughterMurder Felonious assault Witness tampering Obstruction of justice Perjury or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation, to commit any of the above mentioned crimes

20 How to Analyze Crimes List of qualifying crimes is “general categories” not what crime is titled List of qualifying crimes is “general categories” not what crime is titled What is example of DV crime not called DV? What is example of DV crime not called DV? Law enforcement (LEO) may investigate qualifying criminal activity though they charge something else: examples? Law enforcement (LEO) may investigate qualifying criminal activity though they charge something else: examples? Prosecution may be for the non-qualifying criminal activity alone: example of when this happens? Prosecution may be for the non-qualifying criminal activity alone: example of when this happens? 20

21 Certification: Applicant... Is a victim of a qualifying crime Possesses info on the crime Is being, has been or is likely to be helpful NOT substantial abuse and not LEO’s job to decide this = CIS’ job NOT admissible, so crimes by victim do not preclude cert; CIS will decide later 21

22 Key Evidence = Certification Certification by LEO is essential Certification by LEO is essential If not enumerated crime, LEO must explain on form or attachment why cited crime fits an enumerated category based on the facts If not enumerated crime, LEO must explain on form or attachment why cited crime fits an enumerated category based on the facts If LEO investigated many crimes, should cite qualifying crime and explain why charged something else If LEO investigated many crimes, should cite qualifying crime and explain why charged something else Supply copy of qualifying crime statute Supply copy of qualifying crime statute 22

23 Helpfulness: Certification is Key Victim “has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful” in investigation or prosecution Victim “has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful” in investigation or prosecution INA § 101(a)(15)(U)(i)(III) INA § 101(a)(15)(U)(i)(III) Cannot refuse or fail to provide reasonably requested info or assistance Cannot refuse or fail to provide reasonably requested info or assistance New 8 CFR § (b)(3) New 8 CFR § (b)(3) CIS may contact the Certifying Official CIS may contact the Certifying Official Certifying official can withdraw the LE Certification Certifying official can withdraw the LE Certification 23

24 What is Helpfulness? Helpfulness can be defined many ways. Helpfulness can be defined many ways. A phone call? A phone call? Providing pictures? Providing pictures? Enough to write a report? Enough to write a report? Enough to make a case? Enough to make a case? Case does not need to be filed. Case does not need to be filed.

25 Who can certify? The Law says Police officers ProsecutorJudge DHS Officer State or Federal Agency Employee

26 The Regs Say... Must be head of certifying agency, or supervisory person, or specially designated by head of certifying agency (call them the “U supervisor”) Must be head of certifying agency, or supervisory person, or specially designated by head of certifying agency (call them the “U supervisor”) Other agencies that may certify: Other agencies that may certify: Child Protective Services Child Protective Services Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Department of Labor Department of Labor 26

27 What Victims & What to Do? Who do you see now that may qualify? Who do you see now that may qualify? How can you help? How can you help? Who do you need to connect with in your community? Who do you need to connect with in your community?

28 Outreach OUTREACH TO COMMUNITIES Radio stations for specific ethnic audiences Radio stations for specific ethnic audiences Newspapers Newspapers – small, local, language-specific – small, local, language-specific Salon Project: “Cut-it-Out” Salon Project: “Cut-it-Out” Cosmetologists trained to recognize DV in clients and refer them to service. Cosmetologists trained to recognize DV in clients and refer them to service.

29 Disclosure Issues U-Visa Certification: U-Visa Certification: Protection for victims of designated crimes from being preyed upon by criminals who target and exploit un-statused victims in order to silence them from using the justice system. Disclosure: Disclosure: What is the state of law in your jurisdiction?

30 New York State: People v. Colon 13 NY 3rd 343, 2009 Court of Appeals refers to the prosecutor’s duty to disclose assistance in relocation of witness’s grandparents, among other “benefits”. Court of Appeals refers to the prosecutor’s duty to disclose assistance in relocation of witness’s grandparents, among other “benefits”.

31 Disclosure Issues Witness Prep is crucial Witness Prep is crucial U-Visa Certification not a guarantee of status U-Visa Certification not a guarantee of status Subject to federal scrutiny Subject to federal scrutiny Requires extensive documentation Requires extensive documentation Voir Dire is crucial Voir Dire is crucial Motion in Limine Motion in Limine Timing and Wording of disclosure Timing and Wording of disclosure

32 The Tough Questions Quid pro quo problem? Quid pro quo problem? Ways to address institutionally? Ways to address institutionally? Answering re credibility Answering re credibility Your role is limited Your role is limited DHS decides status, not you DHS decides status, not you Applicants must prove other things Applicants must prove other things Not signing in exchange for testimony Not signing in exchange for testimony

33 Resources For latest updates and information For latest updates and information Asista Immigration TA (OVW funded) Asista Immigration TA (OVW funded)


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